As I stated in my 4th of July blog, my long distance girlfriend is currently in town visiting me in Arizona for the summer. I’ve been attempting to give her the full Arizona experience, starting first with the Meteor Crater and the cool scenic desert landscapes of Sedona and Flagstaff. Today, I decided to take her around Old Town Scottsdale, which is an incredibly cute, classy, and fun town to walk around and shop in. Next up on our docket is the town of Tombstone, which is genuinely still a wild west town, so I figured it’d be nice to show her the Western aesthetic first, while still letting her get a fun little shopping fix.
Something I love about living on the west coast is the aesthetic of old western towns. I adore how nothing is above one story, I adore the mixture of wild west and Mexican style architecture, and I like how cute and homely all the design aspects are. Where else will you find a high scale Italian restaurant or a trendy yogurt place inside an old building from the early 1900’s with the sign made out of a lasso? The ability for shop owners to decorate everything with cacti or coyotes really adds to the charm of the area, and gives it a unique personality that could only exist in America.
Old Meets New
I’ve also come to really appreciate the upscale nature of Scottsdale, which is because of the business and athletics in the area. At first it weirded me out that this old Western area was upscaled into a high class shopping center, but the charm has really caught up to me. There’s something novel about being able to eat gelato or fudge while walking on wooden planks or going through saloon doors. The mixture of new and old sometimes catches me off guard and is strikingly beautiful. Combine this with the gorgeous desert sunsets and mountain ranges and you have yourself a pretty area.
Parks and Good Eats
Another thing that I loved about Old Town Scottsdale was that there were such nice parks and scenic spots in the area. Some cool attractions were the fountains, old but renovated houses, and the giant “LOVE” sign that’s in one of the parks. There are also some neat museums and art exhibits in the region, as long as you catch them at the right time of year (not the Summer).
My girlfriend and I are huge foodies and there were so many good eateries in the area. Between a cute toy and candy shop that had a bunch of awesome novelties and small treats to a really yummy fudge place, Old Town didn’t disappoint in keeping us full. I love being able to snack on freshly made peanut brittle or fudge while I look at beautiful sites, and today was no exception. To top it off, we went to one of my favorite food places in Arizona, Portillo’s, which is a Chicago hot dog restaurant that makes nothing but delicious eats. If you’re in Old Town the closest one is actually in the Tempe shopping district next to the ASU campus. It’s worth the trip every time we’re down in the area. If you’re a first time Portillo’s eater, you have to go with the classic dog (Chicago style dog with everything on it), cheese fries (it’s a whole tub of nacho cheese with crinkle cut fries), Italian beef sandwich (exactly what it sounds like but with gravy), and a chocolate cake shake (yes, a whole chocolate cake in a shake). It’s a lovely and affordable eatery with an awesome aesthetic, and a whole slew of celebrity guests that’ve been there.
While not as natural and grand as Sedona or Jerome, Old Town Scottsdale oozes charm and has plenty of things to do in a day spent there. Whether you want a nice upscale meal with a cute location, or to see some nice art or historic areas, Old Town can give you your fix. At the end of it, you can also go to Tempe near ASU and get some actual mall shopping done to top off or start your day. Old Town ended up being a great experience and a lovely date location with Emily. If you ever find yourself looking for something to do other than watching a sports game, definitely check it out, it’ll be worth your time.